September sees World Alzheimer’s Month raise awareness and challenges the stigma surrounding dementia.
World Alzheimer’s Day is takes place on 21 September and with dementia affecting almost 50 million people worldwide it is estimated that a new case occurs somewhere in the world every three seconds.
By Jacqui Sclanders
What is dementia?
Dementia is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting up to 90 per cent of people living with dementia.
Symptoms of dementia include loss of memory, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.
There are support groups and local services which provide day care and home care for people with dementia, as well as support and befriending services to help partners and families cope with the demands of caring. You can find out more about services in the East Midlands area.
The Dementia Support Service gives you access to a support worker who will provide guidance and advice throughout all stages of the dementia journey.
Support workers are based in the community, working from the different memory clinics across the county. The service accepts referrals from the public and professionals in health and social care. You can contact this service on email via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0303 123 4000.
Dementia sensory strolls happen in our county with activities designed to stimulate senses. These can be enjoyed by people living with dementia and their carers, family and friends. Sessions last an hour followed by a hot drink and social time afterwards. The base is Boultham Park in Lincoln and the contact is email@example.com
Buddies Dementia Café
Provides refreshments, entertainment, information and support in a friendly and safe environment, the cafe also teamed up with “Walking for Health” and organise dementia friendly walks around the village after the first Thursday meeting. Further information can be found on their website or via Facebook Buddies Dementia Cafe Nettleham. There are also trips out and parties provided for the members.
The service is reopening in September this year.
Wellbeing Service The Wellbeing Service is designed to promote confidence in living independently. Following assessment, over the course of up to twelve weeks, the range of services that can be offered might include: simple aids to daily living; minor household adaptations; befriending; benefit’s check; help filling out application forms and referring to adult social care if necessary. For the more detailed eligibility criteria please look on the website. Customers can refer themselves by telephone or ask a friend, family member or professional to do it on their behalf. Click here for more.
Dementia Support In Lincolnshire
Sleaford Dementia Support is a small charity based in Sleaford, Lincolnshire offering support via their telephone buddy service for carers and for people with dementia where possible.
You can contact the organisation on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07761 610 664 and talk to Bex.
The Royal Voluntary Service have come up with 10 practical ways to help people with dementia and we are reproducing that here:
- Treat the person with respect and dignity so that they feel confident and valued. Encourage them to achieve small things for themselves.
- Be a good listener– even if this is just a brief weekly phone call.
- Be a good communicator
Speak calmly, waiting for signs that the person has understood. Look the person in the eye and use physical contact to offer reassurance.
- Remember that the little things can mean a lot
Dropping in for a cup of tea or helping with a small task shows a person living with dementia that you care.
- Stay in touch
Hearing from someone briefly and frequently is better than receiving a long letter twice a year. Try to keep in touch as the person’s dementia progresses over time.
- Offer practical help
Two thirds of people with dementia live at home. Offering practical support with things like cutting the grass, putting the rubbish out or running an errand will make a big difference.
- Organise a treat
Think about what the person liked to do before their illness and try to adapt an activity to their current situation. You could go for a picnic in the park or watch an old film.
- Help different family members in different ways
Some family members may dedicate a lot of time to caring responsibilities so offering them support is important too.
- Find out more about dementia
The more you know about dementia, the more confident you will feel spending time with the person with dementia and their loved ones.
Visit alzheimers.org.uk or call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22 (Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm and Saturday and Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm). The National Dementia Helpline provides information, advice, and support through listening, guidance and appropriate signposting to anyone affected by dementia.
- Talk to Royal Voluntary Service about services in your area
Whether reducing isolation through a regular visit from a local Royal Voluntary Service volunteer or practical help like providing a lift to the doctor or meeting up with friends, the help Royal Voluntary Service offers is tailor made to what the older person needs. Get in touch to see how we can help you or someone you care about or search for services by postcode on this website.